Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Raiders

Something has been bothering me. In the big picture of life, it's not that big of a deal. But in the world of football, it really gets on my nerves. Here it is: why is Lane Kiffin being fired? I know his team, the Oakland Raiders, are not playing well. They haven't been playing well for many, many years and Coach Kiffin has only been there for a year, yet he is expected to be fired today in the middle of the season because his team has gone 0-4. That's just ridiculous. And here's why. Lane Kiffin (or any head coach, for that matter) is not the problem with the Oakland Raiders. They could hire Bill Belichick and nothing would get better because the problem is Al Davis, the owner of the team. He is too involved in the day-to-day coaching decisions that should be the responsibility of the head coach, in this case, Lane Kiffin. It is impossible to run a team (or any organization) with the confusion that the staff and players have to deal with. Who's really in charge? Do I listen to the coach or the owner during practice? The coach has no choice, really, about what the owner says and he can't overstep his bounds in that situation. So the team members don't have a clear leader, the coach can't garner any respect from them, and the lines of communication are a mess. No wonder the team is falling apart, and no wonder Lane Kiffin is being fired. If the owner of a team isn't willing to let the coach do his job, then the team will never be functional, much less sucessful.
Al Davis is the problem at Oakland. I'm sure Coach Kiffin has made mistakes, but I think he could be a good head coach in the NFL if he were actually allowed to be one. How frustrating for the players and fans of that team. Even with our terrible offensive play last night, I'm thankful that I was born a Steelers fan! The Rooneys have done a terrific job and I am confident they will continue to operate that way, regardless of ownership.